For professional assistance & information on legal & business matters regarding Mexico and Latin America, please contact:
ATTORNEYS AT LAW
Please contact us at our Mexico offices located at:
Apartado Postal No. 9
San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico
TEL. US.: (800) 856-5709
Local Phone (415) 152-3648
|OUR MEXICO CITY OFFICES
Montecito no. 38 Piso 37 Oficina 37
Edificio World Trade Center
Colonia Napolis C.P. 03810
Mexico, Distrito Federal
ENVIRONMENTAL LAW IN MEXICO
Choose one or more: NAFTA , THE LAW AND "SEMARNAP" , THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENT INSTITUTE , "PROFEPA" , STATES DELEGATIONS OF SEMARNAP/PROFEPA , FOCUSED EFFECT ON 7 INDUSTRIES , WASTE , AIR , WATER , CONSTRUCTION, DANGEROUS MATERIALS AND RESIDUES LIST, AUTHORIZATIONS & DOCUMENTATION , SANCTIONS , ADDITIONAL REGULATIONS, STANDARDS, DECREE AND AGREEMENT , ENVIRONMENTAL MAGAZINE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF SONORA , LINKS , OTHER
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) addresses the issue of environmental protection in the three participating countries (Canada, United States and Mexico). However, it leaves the establishing of environmental rules and standards to the three participating countries, with tow exceptions: 1 They are to comply with existing treaties between themselves, and 2 They are not to reduce their environmental standards as a means of promoting investment in business.
The Federal Government of Mexico, through the Secretariat of the Environment, Natural Resources and Fishing ( Secretaría de Medio Ambiental , Recursos Naturales y Pesca (SEMARNAP) , has sole jurisdiction over those acts that effect two or more states , acts that include hazardous waste, and procedures for the protection and control of acts that can cause environmental damage or serious emergencies to the environment. The Secretariat's main activities are to make environmental policy and enforce it; assist in urban planning; develop rules and technical standards for the environment; grant (or deny) license, authorizations and permits; decide on environmental impact studies; and grant opinions on and assist the states with their environmental programs. This Secretariat enforces the law, regulations, standards, rulings, programs and limitations issued by it through the National Environment Institute and the Federal Attorney Generalship of Environmental Protection ("PROFEPA").
The law covers environmental protection, natural resources conservation, environmental impact statements, risk determination, ecological zoning, and sanctions. The air, water, hazardous waste, pollutants, pesticides and toxic substances are covered by this law.
In the initial period of startup and application of this law and its regulations, a lack of experience by the authorities of Mexico and the miss-understanding of employees at plants in Mexico caused difficulties for companies. However, there is a better understanding now.
THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENT INSTITUTE
This institute is to develop, conduct and evaluate environmental policy; issue technical environmental standards and approve environmental impact studies presented by the public and private sectors; grant permits, concessions, licenses, resolutions and other; regulate handling of hazardous waste and materials and resolve appeals submitted to it. This National Environment Institute is also responsible for the design, implementation and assessment of the regulatory framework for both environmental policies and programs.
PROFEPA (Federal Attorney Generalship of Environmental Protection / Procuraduría Federal de Protección de Ambiente")
This is the enforcement agency of Secretariat of the Environment, Natural Resources and Fishing (SEMARNAP) (the federal head ministry). Profepa is to monitor compliance; investigate claims; conduct inspections and environmental audits; resolve administrative appeals on environmental issues and promote the participation of the public in environmental law creation.
It is also responsible for ensuring strict observance of standards and regulations set by the Institute, as well as those contained in rules and laws enacted by the Mexican Congress. It performs audits and evaluations, imposes fines and other sanctions, it hears public complaints and demands related to insufficient compliance and it is to inform and teach the public of the environmental rules.
STATES DELEGATIONS OF SEMARNAP/PROFEPA
There are Regional Delegations of SEMARNAP , and as well there are State Delegations of PROFEPA .
FOCUSED EFFECT ON 7 GENERAL GROUPING INDUSTRIES ACTIVITIES
There are seven (7) general categories of industries that are focus points of review by the Mexican Federal Government for verification of compliance with the law and rules applicable in environmental matters. The seven categories are: 1) federal publics activities; 2) water works, general communications networks, AND oil, gas and carbon transportation activities; 3) chemical and petrochemical plants, iron and steel mills, paper factories, sugar refiners, drink manufacturers, cement producers, automotive parts makers, and the generation and transmission of electricity activities; 4) mineral and non-mineral exploration, extraction, treatment and refining activities; 5) federal touristic developments activities; 6) treatment, storage and disposal plants of hazardous waste activities, including nuclear waste; 7) exploitation of slow regenerating vegetation in forests and tropical jungles activities.
A substance is considered hazardous waste when it is explosive, ignitable, corrosive, chemically reactive or is toxic (directly or indirectly) to plants, animals and/or humans. There is an official list of the hazardous waste items, and when someone is to produce it or handle it, they are to get authorization, prior thereto for that purpose.
The law and regulations require certain pollutants not be emitted into the air or not be emitted in quantities greater than it approves of. When someone has a standing (non-moving) pollution source, they are to get a permit to emit, prior to emitting.
The law and regulations require certain contaminates not to be introduced into the uncontrolled or public water source or not to be introduced in quantities greater than it approves of. When someone has a standing (non-moving) pollution source, they are to get a permit to emit, prior to emitting.
An environmental impact study is to be done and approved prior to the construction of "new facilities". When someone has a standing (non-moving) pollution source, they are to get a permit to emit, prior to emitting.
DANGEROUS MATERIALS AND RESIDUES
AUTHORIZATIONS & DOCUMENTATION
The authorizations and documentation that may be required in each case are: Operating License; Waste Water Discharge Registration; Hazardous Waste Generator's Manifest; Monthly Log of Hazardous Waste Generation; Ecological Waybills for the Importation and/or Exportation of hazardous Materials and Wastes; Semi-annual Report on Hazardous Wastes Sent to Recycling, Treatment or Final Disposition; Accidental Hazardous Waste Spill Manifest; Delivery, Transport and Receipt of hazardous Wastes Manifests; and Environmental Impact Studies.
Sanctions can include monetary fines, imprisonment, repair of damage, closing of facilities, seizure of toxic materials, changes in facilities or destruction of facilities, as each case requires.
Additional Regulations, Standards, Decree and Agreement
The Regulation to that of the Law for Hazardous Wastes (The Hazardous Waste Regulation), effective as of November 26, 1989.
The Regulation to that of the Law for the Prevention and Control of Atmospheric Contamination (The Air Regulations), effective as of November 26, 1988.
The Regulation to the Law for Environmental Impact (The Environmental Impact Regulation) , effective as of June 8, 1988.
The Regulation to the Law to Promote Mexican Investment and Regulate Foreign Investment (The Foreign Investment law), effective May 17, 1989.
The Environmental Technical Standards (NTE's). These establish the quantitative elements and limits on a general sector basis for the Law and it's Regulations, that control the mentioned substances.
The Decree for the Development and Operation of the In-Bond ("Maquiladora") Export Industry (The "Maquiladora" Decree).
The Agreement for Cooperation between the U.S. and Mexican and its' Annexes (The Environmental Agreement), effective August 14, 1983; Annex II (on hazardous waste discharges in the border areas), effective July 15, 1985, and Annex III (on transborder shipments of hazardous materials and waste), effective November 12, 1986.
ENVIRONMENTAL MAGAZINE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF SONORA
( LA REVISTA DE DERECHO ECOLÓGICO POR INTERNET).
The magazines contact is: Dr. Jose David Garcia Saavedra firstname.lastname@example.org , Hermosillo Sonora, Mexico
Writeup in Spanish by the publishers:
"La Revista de Derecho Ecológico Mexicano está especializada en desarrollo sustentable, preservación, protección y restauración del medio ambiente y en especial en lo relativo a contaminación atmosférica, de aguas, suelos, ruido, vibraciones, energía térmica y lumínica, olores y contaminación visual. Se incluye también la contaminación por materiales y residuos peligrosos y en casos especiales, la energía nuclear.
Necesitamos de elaborar y dar a conocer las nuevas conceptualizaciones de Derecho Ecológico capaces de precisar los caminos alternativos a seguir en la conformación del nuevo Orden Ecológico Universal que impliquen el menor costo social para la población mundial.
Investigadores, maestros y estudiantes de la Universidad
de Sonora, tenemos en la REVISTA DERECHO ECOLÓGICO POR INTERNET, un espacio
editorial que reúne una visión especializada y multidisciplinaria en la cual
juristas, filósofos, médicos, pedagogos, sociólogos, economistas,
historiadores, psicólogos sociales, antropólogos y literatos, puedan
contribuir con su probada experiencia a reflexionar y proponer las alternativas
que existen ante la eminente conformación de un nuevo Orden de Derecho Ecológico
Universal para regular la conducta ecológica del nuevo milenio.
Desde Hermosillo, Sonora, México, con fraternal saludo.
Dr. José David García Saavedra y Dra. Agustina Jaimes Rodríguez"
http://www.environment-search.com ( A U.S. related site that provides the reader with information on the subject. Even though it is not Mexico related it is very informative on the subject matter. As well, it has a section on definition of terms used in the environmental industry)
http://uninet.mty.itesm.mx/legismex.html (For Fee service on legal issues of Environmental issues) http://uninet.mty.itesm.mx/uninet/normas/legis.htm (For Fee service on legal issues of Environmental issues)
See the "Environmental Publications/Sites" and "Industrial Waste Management Guide" on our For Fee webpage on this web site.
A company contacted us some time ago giving us
a statement on themselves. We pass it along, for what its worth.We make no
representations regarding this company (we don't know them)
Industrial Hygiene and Safety Technology, Inc. (IHST) is a full-service industrial hygiene and environmental consulting firm. We provide services in diverse areas, ranging from air quality assessments to worker health and safety training. Formed in 1987, IHST has experienced a steady, controlled growth to the present. The company has grown through a strong commitment to service and technical excellence. ihst.com